After co-op moves in, people will move out
To the editor:
I have watched the discussion swirl around the Heartland grain elevator with interest, concern – and some bafflement.
I fail to understand why our mayor and town council are reacting so mildly – and even in support of – this project, which is so clearly a bad deal economically for the city and so at odds with the green initiative Mayor Ed Malloy has worked fervently and tirelessly to support over many years.
Mayor Malloy says he doesn't have the votes on the council to override the county supervisors' TIF approval, and that beyond that action – which he views as minor – he and the council are powerless anyway.
There is actually a great deal he could do – contact Heartland Co-op to object, politick council members, make strong public statements about the green character of the city and public health being threatened by environmental impact of the operation are a few significant actions that come to mind.
This is a project that, if completed, will inflict severe consequences on the population. It will significantly increase truck traffic. It will significantly raise property taxes to pay for road upgrade and maintenance. It will pollute the air. It will change the desirability of Fairfield as a destination for visitors and permanent residents. People will vote with their feet and the local economy will suffer.
I encourage local political leaders to join with AHEAD-Iowa (www.aheadiowa.com) to move this project to a suitable location that still has access to local grain sources. AHEAD-Iowa has identified several such locations – which deserve serious consideration.
– David Ballou, Fairfield